NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city Housing Authority approved the sale of two vehicles in its fleet at its meeting Wednesday, May 25, because of recent budget cuts.

The two vehicles will be sold by public bid and will not be scheduled for replacement, said executive director of the New Brunswick Housing & Redevelopment Authority John Clarke.

“We’re going to take a look at our maintenance fleet to try to look and see if they’re being maximized to the best of their uses,” Clarke said. “We may be back to the board for one more disposition next month, but we’ll see.”

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Housing Authority Chairperson Anthony Cupano questioned whether the disposition of the vehicles would create issues for the two employees who currently utilize them.

“One is a housing inspector [that will] be piggy-backing on another vehicle for inspections,” Clarke said. “The other one is retired and we’re not replacing that staff person.”

Three other employees scheduled to retire June 1, including the Section 8 director and the agency clerk, will not be replaced in order to help cut costs, Clarke said.

“In those programs we’re going to be doing slight re-organization and absorbing the activities through existing staff,” he said. “It’s going to be challenging to say the least. We’re going to try to roll our sleeves up and do the best we can with what we have.”

Cuts in subsidies from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development coupled with other reductions have taken a toll in other aspects of the city housing authority’s daily operations, Clarke said.

The NBHA also passed two resolutions awarding contracts to the lowest bidders to help offset the fiscal problems created by the cuts, one authorizing a local law firm to provide general legal services, and one approving a contract with a management consulting contractor.

Although cost is factored into how contracts are granted, the majority of consideration is taken from an overall score given to a bidder based on price, reputation and other characteristics, said NBHA Attorney Alberto Camacho.

The authority is looking into several other ways to help manage with the overall 20 percent “across the board” cuts it received in the last two weeks, Clarke said.

“Right now we are looking at our budget for areas that we can reduce,” he said. “We’re going to be soliciting quotes to see how we can save on energy and utility cost. Obviously staff positions are [also] substantial because then we pay for benefits, we pay for hiring and other things.”

The housing and parking authority will have their revised budget proposal at the next meeting in June.